First Ascension Northwoods Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Sites Now Open

Mar 25, 2020

Ascension's Kabel Avenue facility in Rhinelander, which will host one of the drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations.
Credit Ascension

Ascension Medical Group will open its first three drive-thru COVID-19 testing stations Thursday.

The locations include Rhinelander and Crandon, and they will be Ascension's first drive-thru sites in the Northwoods.

The location in Rhinelander will be at the Ascension facility on Kabel Avenue, sometimes called the old hospital.  In Crandon, the site will be at the Ascension clinic on the west side of town.

There’s a specific procedure to get tested for COVID-19 at the locations.

“They’re not just a first-come, first-served type of thing.  You have to be seen at our locations by an Ascension Medical Group provider, by appointment, phone, or virtually using online care.  Through that process, they’ll determine if you meet the criteria, then issue the order to get you sent to the testing location that is closest to your location,” said Ascension spokesman Tom Weaver.

Ascension's Crandon facility.
Credit Ascension

Patients that get tested at one of these locations should anticipate a wait of a few days for results to come back.

“Right now, we’re using some independent labs to send what we call the [Tier] Three or Four [samples].  We’re hoping to everything we can to reduce that [wait].  It is going to take a couple of days for sure, in some cases, depending on how these volumes go up with testing as more people do them,” Weaver said.

Ascension selected the locations to help serve rural patients, according to Weaver.

“Crandon was specifically picked because of its rural location, access to the reservation, things like that,” he said.

Ascension plans to open additional drive-thru testing locations in the coming days.

Vilas County reported the first positive case of COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon.